Major amendments in the Senate to S.2943 Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Authorization Bill

Major amendments in the Senate to S.2943 Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Authorization Bill


The Senate failed to reach cloture on two amendments yesterday: Sen. McCain’s amendment to increase defense spending by $18 billion and Sen. Reed’s & Sen. Mikulski’s amendment to Sen. McCain’s amendment, which would increase non-defense spending by a similar $18 billion.  The Senate held a cloture vote this morning on the NDAA, which passed 68 – 23. Two amendments are pending: Sen. McCain Amendment No. 4607 regarding share-in-savings & Sen. Reid’s amendment No. 4603, which alters the date in which the bill will enter into effect.

The Senate will likely finish the NDAA early next week.

 New additions are bolded for emphasis.


Roll Call:

Health providers: Fischer (R-NE) Amendment No. 4206 relating to armed forces health care providers approved 91-0 on June 6.

Pentagon medical research: Durbin (D-IL) amendment No. 4369 to remove limitations on funding for Pentagon medical research approved 66-32 on June 7.

Commissaries: Inhofe (R-OK) amendment No. 4204 to strike the provision relating to the pilot program on privatization of the military commissaries approved 70-28 on June 7.

Increase Funding: McCain (R-AZ) amendment No. 4229 to increase funding in the bill by nearly $18 billion. Cloture not invoked: 56-42 on June 9.

Increase Funding (Non-Defense): Reed (D-RI), Mikulski (D-MD) amendment No. 4549 to increase non-defense spending by $18 billion as an amendment to the McCain (R-AZ) amendment No. 4229 to increase Pentagon spending by $18 billion. Cloture not invoked: 43-55 on June 9.

Voice Vote:

 B-21 long range strategic bomber: Heitkamp (D-ND) amendment No. 4079 to add to the report that the bill requires if the B-21 program is canceled, modernization investments needed to ensure that B–1, B–2, or B–52 aircraft can carry out the full range of long-range bomber aircraft missions anticipated in operational plans of the Armed Forces adopted by voice vote on June 7.

Securing ICBM Fields: Daines (R-MT), Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tester (D-MT) amendment No. 4247 to expedite the decision to replace UH-1N helicopters used to patrol ICMB missile fields, if deemed necessary, adopted by voice vote on June 7.

Sanctions on human rights violators: Cardin (D-MD), McCain (R-AZ) amendment No. 4031 to impose sanctions on foreign persons responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights adopted by voice vote on June 7.

Sexual assault survivors: Gillibrand (D-NY) amendment No. 4112 to expand protections against wrongful discharge to sexual assault survivors adopted by voice vote on June 7..

Guantanamo Bay prison: Roberts (R-KS) amendment No. 4119 to prohibit the Pentagon from using reprogrammed funds to transfer or release detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison adopted by voice vote on June 7.


 Major amendments offered

 Nuclear weapons, Missile Defense and Non-proliferation

Security of ICBM’s: Hoeven (R-ND), Tester (D-MT), Daines (R-MT), Heitkamp (D-ND) amendment No. 4136 to require a report on the potential threats to U.S. ICBM missile sites and a list of shortfalls in the security procedures and to require actions to mitigate those shortfalls, including the procurement of HH–60 helicopters.

Expanded missile defense: Markey (D-MA) amendment No. 4139 to strike Section 1665 in the bill, a Cruz provision to open the way for an expanded nationwide layered missile defense system.

Alert levels and numbers for ICBM’s: Rubio (R-FL) amendment No. 4200 to prohibit reducing the responsiveness or alert level of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM’s) or to reduce the number of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles to a number that is less than 400.

Long-range nuclear cruise missile: Markey (D-MA) amendment No. 4241 to delay development of a new nuclear cruise missile and refurbishment of its associated warhead for one year.

B-21 bomber: Cochran amendment (R-MS) amendment No. 4267 to strike a requirement to transfer B-21 funds to the Rapid Prototyping Fund.

ICBM’s for space transportation: Lee (R-UT) amendment 4277 to authorize the provision of excess intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM’s) to U.S. commercial space transportation services providers for use as space transportation vehicles.

Missile defense: Cruz (R-TX), Graham (R-SC) amendment No. 4289 to authorize additional funding for missile defense systems in Israel.

Nuclear Nonproliferation Report: Peters (D-MI) amendment No. 4313 to require a report on nuclear nonproliferation research and development projects and how they can strengthen verification capabilities to monitor the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Upgrades of nuclear command and control: Daines (R-MT)-Tester (D-MT) amendment No. 4399 to encourage upgrades to the nuclear command, control, and communications system.

Preventing Dirty Bomb Terrorism: Carper (D-DE) amendment No. 4413 to require development of a strategy to enhance the security of all risk-significant radiological materials that could be used to make dirty bombs.

Cost of nuclear weapons refurbishment program: Merkley (D-OR), Markey (D-MA) amendment No. 4457 to require a report on the cost of the nuclear weapons program over 25 years.

Increases for Missile Defense: Bennet (D-CO), Blumenthal (D-CT), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Baldwin (D-WI) amendment No. 4491 to increase funding for procurement and RDT&E for Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow 3 Upper Tier by a total of $319 million.

Security of ICBM Sites: Hoeven (R-N.D.) & Tester (D-MT) amendment No. 5404 to identify and correct shortfalls in capabilities to secure ICBM sites.

Ballistic Missile Defense: Donnelly (D- IN) amendment No. 4612 to reaffirm that U.S. ballistic missile defense is intended to defend against limited attacks and that new capabilities should undergo realistic testing before being operationally deployed.

Cruise Missile Defense: Shaheen (D-N.H.), Burr (R- N.C.), Ayotte (R- N.H.) amendment No. 4641 to require a report on the feasibility and advisability of transferring developmental cruise missile defense platforms to the Missile Defense Agency.  


Conventional weapons, troop levels, and spending

Military end-strengths:  Moran (R-KS), Blunt (R-KS) amendment No. 4069 to increase end-strengths for the armed forces and the reserves.

Reduction of general and flag officers: McCain (R-AZ) amendments No. 4096 & No. 4133 to reduce the number of general officers and flag officers in the armed forces by December 31, 2017.

Eliminating unnecessary end-of-fiscal year spending: Perdue (R-GA.) amendment No. 4109 to require the Comptroller General to put forth recommendations “to reduce or eliminate excessive spending by the Department of Defense as a means of ensuring that future fiscal year appropriations are not reduced for lack of use of current budgetary resource.”

Cost of Pentagon studies:  Flake (R-AZ) amendment No. 4183 to include a price tag estimating the cost to taxpayers of studies funded by the Department of Defense.

Pay raise for Armed Services: Rubio (R-FL) amendment No. 4194 to provide a 2.1% pay increase to members of the uniformed service. The bill provides for a 1.6% increase.

Audit the Pentagon: Purdue (R-GA) amendment No. 4203 to require a report on the plan of the Department of Defense to obtain an audit on the general fund statement of its budgetary resources and requires the Pentagon to be ready for  an audit by Sept. 1, 2017.

Increase Funding: McCain (R-AZ) amendment No. 4229 to increase funding in the bill by nearly $18 billion. 

Base closings: Corker (R-TN) amendments No. 4379 and 4380 to establish independent commission,  the ‘‘Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.’’

Littoral combat ships: Cochran (R-MS) amendment No. 4384 to eliminate a limitation on funding related to the Littoral Combat Ship.

Littoral combat ships: Johnson (R) amendment No. 4477 to remove limitations on the use of funds to revise or deviate from the Littoral Combat Ship acquisition strategy.

National Commission on Defense Reform: Kaine (D-VA) – Warner (D-VA) amendment No. 4414 to establish a commission to undertake a comprehensive review of the organization of the Department of Defense, including its structure, composition, and business practices.

 Pentagon Audit Fund: Wyden (D-OR) amendment No. 4473 to establish a “Financial Audit Fund” for the Pentagon.

  • Wyden (D-OR), Sanders (I-VT) Amendment No. 4596 is similar.

Transparency in Acquisition Programs: Lankford (R-OK) amendment No. 4555 to require DOD to establish cost, schedule, and performance goals at the onset of major defense acquisition programs.

Foreign and energy policy

Arms Trade Treaty: Moran (R-KS) amendment No. 4098 to limit funding for implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty.

Iran: Perdue (R-GA) amendments No. 4105, 4106, 4017, and 4108 to require a series of reports on Iran, including its cooperation with Russia and North Korea and sanctioned Iranian air carriers.

Kurdistan Regional Government: Ernst (R-IA), Boxer (D-CA) amendments No. 4111 and 4117 to authorize defense articles, defense services, and related training directly to the Kurdistan Regional Government.

South Korea: Gardner (R-CO) amendment No. 4132 & 4263 to encourage the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in the Republic of Korea.

State Department authorization bill: Corker (R-TN) amendment No. 4141, the Fiscal Year 2017 State Department Authorization bill.

Sanctions on Iran: Ayotte (R-NH) and 18 other Senators amendment No. 4150 stating that Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles is a threat to our allies and the U.S. forces in the Middle East and to expand sanctions on Iran.

Arming the Kurds: Rubio (R-FL) amendment No. 4159 to establish safe zones in Iraq and provide arms, training, and equipment to the Kurdish Peshmerga.

Iran: Rubio (R-FL) amendment No. 4162 to prohibit contracts with companies and individuals that provide material support to sanctioned Iranians.

  • Cotton (R-AK) amendment No. 4271 is a similar amendment.

Russian aggression: Perdue (R-GA), Johnson (R-WI) amendment No. 4171 to express the sense of Congress against Russian military aggression.

Sanctions on Iran:  Cornyn (R-TX) amendment No. 4201 to impose sanctions on Iran for holding American sailors and citizens in violation the Geneva Conventions or the right under international law to conduct innocent passage.

Sanctions on Iran: Rounds (R-S.D.), Cruz (R-TX) amendment No. 4205 to report on Iran’s activities to undermine U.S. cyber security and designate the actors responsible for sanction.

Russian treaty violation: Perdue (R-GA) amendment No. 4238 to prohibit the entry into contracts with entities that have contributed to the violation by the Russian Federation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Ukraine: Portman (R-OH) amendment No. 4243 to include air defense and costal defense radars as equipment provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.

Vietnam: Cornyn (R-TX), Boozman (R-MT) amendment No. 4286 to limit arms sales to Vietnam and impose sanction on individuals complicit in certain human rights abuses committed against Vietnamese nationals or their families.

Saudi Arabia: Murphy (D-CT), Paul (R-KY) amendment No. 4299 to condition arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Building Partner Capacity: Udall (D-NM) amendment No. 4328 to require a report on security cooperation programs and activities intended to build partner capacity of foreign countries.

Limiting lethal aid to Syrian Opposition: Udall (D- NM) amendment No. 4331 to apply limits to the transfer of lethal aid to vetted Syrian opposition forces until a certification can be made that the recipients are unaffiliated with terrorist groups.

 AUMF: Schatz (D-HI) amendment No. 4439 to terminate the 2001 Authorization to Use Military force.

 Countering Iran Maritime Initiative: Peters (D-MI) amendment No. 4470 to provide assistance and training to Israel, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar regarding maritime security

Open Skies and other treaties: Cotton (R-AR) No. 4075 to require a report on the potential non-compliance of Russia with several international agreements, including the Open Skies Treaty and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Open skies treaty: Cotton (R-AR), Sasse (R-NE), Rubio (R-FL), Risch (R-ID), Burr (R-N.C.), Inhofe (R-OK), Cornyn (R-TX) amendment 4483 to limit approval of any new sensor for use by the Russian Federation on observation flights under the Open Skies Treaty.

Authorization for the use of force: Kaine (D-VA), Flake (R-AZ), Nelson (D-FL) amendment No. 4496 to authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and repeal the 2002 Authorized Use of Military Force.

Monitoring Iran’s Nuclear Program: Vitter (R-LA) amendment No. 5414 to require an assessment of inadequacies in the international monitoring and verification of Iran’s nuclear activity.

  • Vitter (R-LA) Amendment No. 4655 is similar.

Iranian Violations of International Law: Cornyn (R-TX) amendment No. 4600 to require a report on potential international law violations by Iran during the detainment of two Navy vessels earlier this year.



Guantanamo Bay prison: Moran (R-KS), Daines (R-MT), Inhofe (R-OK), Hatch (R-UT), Gardner (R-CO), Roberts (R-KS) amendment No. 4068 to strike Section 1023  which would permit the Pentagon to  study designing and planning modifications of the U.S. prisons as a potential alternative to Guantanamo Bay.

Guantanamo Bay prison detainees: Moran (R-KS) and 7 other Republican co-sponsors amendment No. 4070 restricting the release or transfer of detainees.

Selective service: Paul (R-KY) amendment No. 4074 to repeal the military selective service act.

Firearms for service people: Paul (R-KY) amendment No. 4075 to permit service members to carry concealed or open carry firearms in accordance with state law.

9/11 report: Paul (R-KY), Wyden (D-OR, Gillibrand (D-NY) amendment No. 4076 to require the President to release to the public the previously redacted portions of the report on the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001.

Study on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Heitkamp (D-ND) amendment No. 4080 to require a study on eliminating the stigma and improving treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Border threat analysis:  Heitkamp (D-ND), Ayotte (R-NH) amendment No. 4081 to require a report on the terrorist threats from people trying to enter the U.S. from Canada.

Restrictions on Space Launch Services: McCain (R-AZ) amendment No. 4149 to restrict the procurement of services or property related to military space launch programs from entities sanctioned in connection with Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

Military bands: Flake (R-AZ) amendment No. 4189 to require a report on military bands.

Prohibition on Alternative Energy:  Rubio (R-FL) amendment No. 4193 to prohibit the use of funds for alternative or renewable energy.

Guantanamo Bay: Rubio (R-FL) amendments No. 4197, 4198 and 4199 to bar Guantanamo Bay detainees from being sent to the Western Hemisphere or to countries unless there is first an assessment that the transfer possess no risk to Americans overseas, and to bar closing the prison.

Privatizing commissaries: Inhofe (R-OK) and 30 bipartisan Senators amendment No. 4204 to strike the provision relating to the pilot program on privatization of the military commissaries.

Removing limits on Fair Pay and Safe Workplace executive order: Reid (D-NV) and 11 Democratic Senators amendment No. 4255 to delete section 829H in the bill limiting the application of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces regulations mandated by Executive Order 13673.

Russian rocket motors: Cochran (R-MS) No. 4268 to strike a provision permitting the use of Russian rocket engines for the expendable launch vehicle program.

Women and selective service: Lee (R-UT), Cruz (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Rounds (R-ND), Sasse (R-NE), Wicker (R-MS) amendment No. 4276 to strike the requirement in the bill for women to register for the draft.

Guantanamo Bay: Inhofe (R-OK) and 12 Republican Senators amendment No. 4306 to require advance notice to the public on the transfer or release of individuals detailed at Guantanamo Bay.

Military Justice Reform: Gillibrand (D-NY) and a bipartisan group of 33 other senators’ amendment No. 4310 to reform the uniform code by implementing the “Military Justice Improvement Act of 2016.”

Confederate flags: Booker (D-NJ) – Brown (D-OH) amendment No. 4401 to bar funding for Reserve Officer Training Corps units at education institutions that display the confederate flags.

U.S. terrorists: Cruz (R-TX), Grassley (R-IA), Lee (R-UT) amendment No. 4447 to take away U.S. citizenship of anyone who takes acts in support of terrorism.

Office of Global Women’s Issues: Boxer (D-CA), Shaheen (D-N.H.), Menendez (D-N.J.) amendment No. 4597 to establish the Office of Global Women’s Issues within the Department of State.